There’s a place in Mumbai, India, that looks rather unassuming on the outside. However, all those who walk through the door cannot believe their eyes. The place is the Cardboard Café and, yes, it’s made completely out of cardboard. Here are the breathtaking photos and the beautiful idea behind it.
The Incredible Cardboard Café
It might be 2019, but humans continue to create awe-inspiring art and locations. Now, a designer has created a one-of-a-kind coffee place in Mumbai, India. The Cardboard Café is entirely made of cardboard. Yes, you heard it right – it’s all made of cardboard.
Cardboard materials might make you think the Cardboard Café, which is also all vegan and gluten-free, is small. However, it sits at 40,000 square feet! It opened in April of this year with three goals: design a beautiful, interesting interior, have the best customer service, and also help the environment. And the cafe does all three!
The design, created by Nuru Karim, an Indian architecture, took seven months to plan and four months to build. Cardboard makes up the floors, chairs, menus, lamps – everything! As such, creating and building the Cardboard Café produced little waste. There’s only one room where Karim did not use cardboard: the kitchen. As you can guess, combining fire and cardboard would lead to disaster.
It’s safe to say that the gorgeous design of the Cardboard Café lied entirely on Karim’s shoulders. It was he who first proved how versatile, sturdy, and pretty cardboard could be. However, Karim did not work alone, others helped create the pieces. Designers from the Indian firm NUDES created most of the furniture by first stacking and binding layers of cardboard. Then, they carved the blocks into the desired shape, not unlike marble. The work took time, precision, and dedication to learning how cardboard responded.
Still, Karim had the final say, picking each individual piece. He also personally tested out the material and the final product for flexibility, durability, moisture resistance, and more.
Karim deeply believes in this project that turned into a real-life café. There were struggles and obstacles along the way, like finding ways to make the cardboard tables waterproof. Karim sorted this issue by putting wax over the tabletops. Little by little, Karim found a solution for every problem that popped up, always seeing his vision and the final picture in his mind’s eye.
Today, the café is nearly three months old and getting very popular. However, when it opened, customers who walked into the café were awe-struck: the design is so slick, modern and elegant, it’s hard to believe it’s made out of cardboard – even the menu holders. Obviously, the place already went viral; people love the design, the food, and the service.
The super talented Indian architecture said he hopes to see more people reduce, reuse, and recycle. He also hopes to show that we could use everyday materials, or non-conventional ones, to build and create new things. Karim hopes to inspire future public areas and the public to use eco-friendly materials when building it. “We wanted to advocate for issues, such as climate change, global warming, and sustainability,” he said.